New book: Canisia Lubrin’s “Voodoo Hypothesis”

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Voodoo Hypothesis by Canisia Lubrin will be out in October 2017, published by Wolsak & Wynn. It is already available for preordering. In advance praise, Liz Howard (author of Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent and winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize) writes: Voodoo Hypothesis is an interior in motion: a gorgeous, searching intelligence. It is a womb/tomb of luminous inquiry. A semi-permeable ship where your mind is in concert with Lubrin’s forward propagating lineation, a participatory dreamscape that leads you back to your own culpability. This is a work that reads you, too.”

Sonnet L’Abbé (author of Killarnoe and Sonnet’s Shakespeare) says: “Canisia Lubrin’s lush, winding poetic lines are the incantations of a furious imagining. Lubrin’s speakers seem to have lived in generations of bodies of the African diaspora, and through centuries of migrations, slavery and neo-capitalism. Yet hers is still one single, contemporary vision – grieving, mongrel-cultured, exiled from the Caribbean archipelago’s sun. Here is a brilliant new Canadian voice, in the lyric lineage of Dionne Brand and M. NourbeSe Philip, raising up language like a shield against European histories and sciences, raising up poetry like a sacrifice of sweat and blood.”

Description: Voodoo Hypothesisis a subversion of the imperial construct of “blackness” and a rejection of the contemporary and historical systems that paint black people as inferior, through constant parallel representations of “evil” and “savagery.” Pulling from pop culture, science, pseudo-science and contemporary news stories about race, Lubrin asks: What happens if the systems of belief that give science, religion and culture their importance were actually applied to the contemporary “black experience”? With its irreverence toward colonialism, and the related obsession with post-colonialism and anti-colonialism, and her wide-ranging lines, deftly touched with an intermingling of Caribbean Creole, English patois and baroque language, Lubrin has created a book that holds up a torch to the narratives of the ruling class, and shows us the restorative possibilities that exist in language itself.

Canisia Lubrin was born in St. Lucia. She has had work published in literary journals including Room, The Puritan, This Magazine, ARC, CV2 and The City Series #3: Toronto Anthology. She has been an arts administrator and community advocate for close to two decades. Lubrin has contributed to the podcast On the Line, hosted by Kate Sutherland for The Rusty Toque. She studied at York University where she won the President’s Prize in poetry and the Sylvia Ellen Hirsch Memorial Award in creative writing. Lubrin holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and teaches at Humber College. She lives in Whitby, Ontario.

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]

Click here to read an excerpt from Voodoo Hypothesis via Wolsak & Wynn.

For purchasing information, see http://wolsakandwynn.ca/books/178-voodoo-hypothesis and https://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Hypothesis-Canisia-Lubrin/dp/1928088422

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